This morning at Denmark Hill

October 21, 2008

A man comes on platform 1 where I’m waiting for the train. He’s carrying four fluorescent neon coloured bags, all stuffed up to a point where they’re almost bursting. He sits down next to me. On his right side sits an old lady, who he starts talking to immediately. He tells her, that his girlfriend has died, and that he has a son, who’s 18. He says he’s 35. I don’t believe him. He tells her further, that he has to move away from here. He gets up to look for something in his bag. He’s searching forever, while the old woman tries to help him, by suggesting it might be in the green bag. He finds what he’s looking for – a notebook. He sits back down and shows the woman what apparently are pictures of his girlfriend. The woman says he should take care of himself and “oh dear“. He lights a cigarette and walks away. An older man comes from the other side of the platform. He shouts incomprehensible words, then stops at the smoking guy and says something to him. The younger guy asks him “Are you from Sweden?” The guy denies and questions back “Do you like football?” The man, who stopped smoking by now, answers, “Yes, I’m from Oxford”. The older man walks away. When the train is approaching the men with the neon bags asks the old woman to help him with his zippers. She does so. Everyone is queuing up to enter the train, when the old guy from earlier returns, talking into his mobile. He says “A muffin, yes, and a sausage, oh and have you got any of that brown … ” I can’t hear him anymore. I think he missed the train. Minutes later, when we approach Victoria station, all of sudden, he comes through the door, mumbles something, and leaves the cabin through the other door. The guy with the neon bag and the old lady have disappeared.

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